Highway to Hell- AC/DC (1979)

Updated: Feb 27, 2021


AC/DC may not be the founders of hard rock, they were surely one of the first to bring it into the mainstream. They're almost so well known, that they don't even need an introduction. The lineup for this album is the first rendition of the classic lineup, with Bon Scott (vocals), Angus Young (lead guitar), Malcolm Young (rhythm guitar), Cliff Williams (bass), and Phil Rudd (drums).

This would be the last album to feature lead singer Bon Scott, as he would tragically pass, in February 1980, after a night of drinking. Which after this, the band would eventually carry on with Brian Johnson, a man that Scott appreciated for his own prowess, and would put out their next album in a tribute to Scott.

 

Track listings as they appear on the album:

  1. "Highway to Hell"-3:29

  2. "Girls Got Rhythm"-3:24

  3. "Walk All Over You"-5:10

  4. "Touch Too Much"-4:28

  5. "Beating Around the Bush"-3:57

  6. "Shot Down in Flames"-3:23

  7. "Get It Hot"-2:35

  8. "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)"-4:38

  9. "Love Hungry Man"-4:18

  10. "Night Prowler"-6:18

 

The album opener simply knocked it out of the park on its own, with its opening to this song being instantly recognizable to almost everyone on the planet. Acting as an anthem for what the band was and still is known for to this day, love, sex and partying. The lyrics show a very stubborn man who refuses to heed any advice nor knowledge. Instead choosing to indulge down the road which he has been traveling down, the "Highway to Hell".

The title track is followed by "Girls Got Rhythm", depicts a man bragging about his woman, and what she has, that no one else does. A stand out phrase being, "Like a body needs blood, No doubt about it can't live without it".

The following tracks, "Walk All Over You", "Touch Too Much" and "Beating Around the Bush", being more sex focused than the rest of the album. Consisting of lyrics such as:

"We're rising falling like the sea

You're lookin' so good under me"- "Walk All Over You"


"She wanted it hard, wanted it fast

She liked it done medium rare"- "Touch Too Much"


"I was talkin' birds

And you was talkin' bees

And was he down upon his knees

Beating around the bush"- "Beating Around the Bush"


With three of the four subsequent songs, leaning more into the love-lust and party centric side of the LP, the standout among those few is the track "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)". Which the name was taken from their previous live album, and made reference to what Bon had replied to a reporter as to what the audience should expect.


Leading up to the closer of the album, "Night Prowler". Which had gained a heated reputation due to its association in the murder cases of the "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez. During which the band faced protests in the Los Angeles area. Having to explain the lyrical meaning and intentions of the song when it was written. Even though they were able to pull back from that incident, the song probably still carries some sort of stigma to it.


Despite the controversy of the closing song on the album, this record proved to be a groundbreaking performance for the band, as they reached number 17 on the US Top 100 charts. Serving as the second highest selling album after 1980's "Back in Black", which was released following Scott's tragic passing earlier in the year. The record also served as the first of three outings for producer 'Mutt' Lange, who produced "Back in Black" and "For Those About We Salute You".


Image used for this article, comes from the website below:

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/articles/features/the_story_and_legacy_of_highway_to_hell_by_acdc-94741

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